When a storm passes through your neighborhood with damaging winds and hail, the only thing you want to do is get the property back to normal. Unfortunately, this urgency as well as wanting to pay the lowest price possible for the repairs is what ‘storm chasers’ prey on.
These storm chasers follow a path of devastating weather that has caused damage in a community. More often than not these companies try to get roof replacement work but it can also be siding, windows, garage doors, decks, etc.
There’s nothing wrong with making an honest living, especially where many homeowners are stressed about the damage and just want a sense of normalcy. These storm chasers don’t always have your best interest in mind however and trying to save some money up front can actually cost you a lot more in the not-so-distant future. Here’s why and how you should avoid these types of operations:
What is a Storm Chaser?
As stated, “storm chasers” are traveling construction contractors who roll into town shortly after wind, rain, hail, etc. has damaged a number of homes in a central location. In theory that’s not a bad principle but the goal of these (mostly roofing) contractors is to make as much money as they can in a short period of time.
When a company comes to a location to do ‘volume work’ it’s not hard to believe that their work quality is going to be a low priority. A homeowner is going to get a good bid because the storm chasers know based on the square footage how long it will take them to put a new roof on.
Problems With Storm Chasers
The major problem with this is that storm chasers only give you a bid for the bare minimum. They’re going to find the cheapest materials and get the work done as quickly as possible. You think a person who works in volume is going to take the time and replaced rotted sheathing? Apply flashing around a chimney? Cut a vent at a peak where one wasn’t originally installed? More often than not the answer is ‘no.’
Storm chasers have no incentive to perform quality work – only the priority of finishing the job as fast as possible. They have no worries about bad local word of mouth referrals circulating because they’re on to the next storm damaged town in a couple weeks.
It’s nearly impossible to ever contact these contractors to come repair their work as they could be on the other side of the country in a couple months. Many times they even change the name of their business every 3-4 years when the bad reviews start piling up. Many experts agree the average life span of a ‘storm chaser’ roof is 5-7 years or less – that’s about half the time of the guarantee of even the most entry level asphalt shingles.
How to Avoid These Types of Contractors?
The first step in avoiding storm chasers is to not get memorized by price or timeline. When a bid comes in thousands of dollars less than other contractors it should raise a red flag. Also having your roof done in two days is nice – but you should value quality work that you know is fully repaired over a quick fix. How much money or time do you really save when the roof has to be replaced in 5 years or less?
You also have to do your research to make sure a company is reputable. Have the contractor provide a Minnesota roofing license and proof of liability insurance. Be wary of door-to-door solicitors and always watch the contractor as they do a roofing inspection. Look for online reviews and research the business location that they provide you.
Finally never, ever give a mysterious roofing contractor an up front payment as that may be the last time you see them. Luckily you can avoid all these potential pitfalls by just giving Snap Construction a call. We are a local Twin Cities based business established in 2007 that offers a lifetime Craftsmanship Guarantee. Call us for your next roof inspection today!